NBC’s Pentagon correspondent is reporting that the US military is dispatching navy warships as well as an aircraft carrier to waters off Israeli as part of “support” operations.
“The US military is planning to move US Navy ships and US military aircraft closer to Israel as a show of support, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the planning,” NBC’s Courtney Kube writes. “Movements could start immediately but all the assets will not be in place for several days.”
Scenes at Israel’s Ben Gurion international airport have shown long lines of frantic Israelis, as well as tourists, seeking to exit the country amid fears of broader war and escalation following the major Saturday attack from Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza.
Likely the coming days will see an exodus of tens of thousands of tourists as well as foreign nationals who reside in Israel. Dual Israeli nationals with places to stay abroad will also likely be seeking to get out.
NBC notes further that non-essential personnel may be leaving the US embassy in Jerusalem:
The U.S. is also working through plans for a possible non-combatant evacuation — helping Americans get out of Israel. Nothing has been decided or ordered but they are working through options, including one that involves putting some Americans on the Navy ships to get them to safety.
While President Biden on Saturday pledged full support to PM Netanyahu as Israel embarks on a fresh Gaza war, which could be the biggest in decades, there remains the potential for direct US military involvement if things spiral out of control.
After all, Americans are being reported among the dead and kidnapped (likely many who dual US-Israeli citizens) after the devasting Hamas raid into southern Israel. In some pockets, fighting may be ongoing.
Israeli airstrikes continue to decimate whole blocks inside the Gaza Strip…
This is the very selective bombing of Gaza, not Mariupol, so I guess it doesn’t matter pic.twitter.com/CCjGxmcXE0— What the media hides. (@narrative_hole) October 8, 2023
Currently, the Israeli Defense Forces are heavily bombarding Gaza City in what’s only the beginning of more strikes to come, and possibly a ground incursion to rescue hostages.